noun, plural sim·plic·i·ties.

the state, quality, or an instance of being simple.
freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts: an organism of great simplicity.
absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness: a life of simplicity.
freedom from deceit or guile; sincerity; artlessness; naturalness: a simplicity of manner.
lack of mental acuteness or shrewdness: Politics is not a field for simplicity about human nature.

Origin of simplicity

1325–75; Middle English simplicite (< Old French simplicité) < Latin simplicitās simpleness, equivalent to simplici- (stem of simplex) simplex + -tās -ty2
Related formsnon·sim·plic·i·ty, noun, plural non·sim·plic·i·ties.o·ver·sim·plic·i·ty, nounsu·per·sim·plic·i·ty, noun

Synonyms for simplicity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for simplicity

Contemporary Examples of simplicity

Historical Examples of simplicity

  • Simplicity and self-forgetfulness were manifest in carriage and utterance.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Yet something new, inexplicable, thwarted her and changed the simplicity of her passion.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • The bluntness of Lizzie's speech disconcerted him, and yet the simplicity of it reassured him.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • I did not laugh at her simplicity, nor did I smile or feel any inclination to smile.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • He let them do so in the innocence of his heart and the simplicity of his mind.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for simplicity



the quality or condition of being simple
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for simplicity

late 14c., "singleness of nature, unity, indivisibility; immutability," from Old French simplicite (12c., Modern French simplicité), from Latin simplicitatem (nominative simplicitas) "state of being simple, frankness, openness, artlessness, candor, directness," from simplex (genitive simplicis) "simple" (see simplex). Sense of "ignorance" is from c.1400; that of "simplicity of expression, plainness of style" is early 15c.

Middle English also had simplesse, from French, attested in English from mid-14c. in sense "humility, lack of pride," late 14c. as "wholeness, unity;" c.1400 as "ignorance."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper